Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 24: The Grey Cup pre-game game (1pm MT, SN West)

Hours before the Calgary Stampeders compete for Canadian football’s richest prize, the Calgary Flames (13-9-1, 27 points) tangle with the Arizona Coyotes (9-10-2, 20 points) in a Pacific Division clash with key points on the line.

The action starts at 1 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West (on the national feed) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Czarnik – Ryan – Neal
Dube – Jankowski – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson

Kylington – Hamonic

Bill Peters didn’t commit to a starter after Saturday’s practice, but we’re guessing Mike Smith goes today. Reports were that he was in the starter’s net at practice and with the team not playing again until Wednesday, it’s a good chance for him to knock some rust off. That would leave David Rittich as backup. Based on Juuso Valimaki missing practice, we’re presuming also that he’s out and Ryan Lomberg is the lone healthy scratch.

The Flames’ loss in Vegas on Friday snapped a three game winning streak. But it continued a very nice stretch of hockey, dating back to the Pittsburgh drubbing, where the Flames haven’t given their opponents very much daylight in terms of allowing scoring chances. They’re playing an aggressive, structured game and it’s allowing them to keep games close and wear their opponents down.

The Coyotes

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Panik – Stepan – Keller
Cousins – Galchenyuk – Fischer
Grabner – Richardson – Hinistroza
Crouse – Strome – Perlini

Ekman-Larsson – Goligoski
Chychrun – Hjalmarsson
Connauton – Lyubushkin

Antti Raanta starts for Arizona. With Darcy Kuemper nursing a lower body injury (he’s day-to-day), Calgary product Adin Hill has been summoned from the AHL to back Raanta up. Jordan Oesterle and Josh Archibald are the healthy scratches.

The Coyotes enter this game on a three game losing skid, and they’ve dropped four of their last five. They aren’t scoring very much, having scored seven goals during their past five games. They’re an interesting group, a hodge-podge of good players and fairly underrated names that few in the hockey world have really heard of. But they’re a group that’s still trying to gel, but hasn’t quite clicked yet.

The Numbers

Wins 13 9
Points 27 20
Corsi Close 54.6% 51.1%
Power Play 20.5% 16.4%
Penalty Kill 75.3% 91.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without Michael Frolik and Michael Stone.

The Coyotes are without Christian Dvorak and Jason Demers.

Season Series

This is the first of four meetings between these teams this season.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Coyotes Twitter follows for tonight:

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